In the UK, in 2006,175 cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises or whales) were found dead on Cornwall’s beaches by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Strandings Network - a 70% increase on the previous year.
The work of strandings volunteers Edit
Trained strandings volunteers of the Cornwall and Devon Wildlife Trusts photograph and record details of stranded marine animals, including external injuries that may indicate how the animal died. The volunteers also help secure and transport animals to veterinary laboratories for post mortem, in order to determine the cause of death. This information is then used locally, nationally and internationally to lobby Government departments responsible for the marine environment to take action to protect these animals.
Lisa Browning, Marine Development Officer, The Wildlife Trusts: "Seeing dolphins at play is a joyous spectacle, one never forgotten. Sadly, for many people, their first encounter with these wonderful animals is when they find a dead, mutilated dolphin on the beach rather than seeing them swimming free in the sea. Some are crushed to death in nets full of fish or, being air-breathing mammals like humans, suffocate or drown as they cannot surface to breathe."
Joana Doyle, Marine Conservation Officer for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust: "Our Marine Strandings Network volunteers are at the forefront of scientific research into the deaths of marine animals and it is thanks to their efforts that we are starting to piece together information about why dead dolphins are washing up on Cornish beaches. Without their tireless efforts vital evidence would not be collected and the battle to protect these animals could be lost."
Related topics Edit
- The Wildlife Trusts' Press release